Kate's screams as police told her: You're a suspect

Kate's screams as police told her: You're a suspect
Daily Express
10 January 2008
From Nick Fagge in Praia da Luz


Kate McCann screamed when told by police that she was a suspect in Madeleine's disappearance, it emerged y esterday.

Opening the door of her rented villa to a Portuguese officer the family had come to know, Kate, 39, shouted: "Do you honestly believe that I would murder my own child?" The officer had called to tell Kate and Gerry McCann: "You are being made arguidos (suspects)".

The revelation is made in a searching and emotional magazine interview published today in which Gerry speaks with extraordinary candour about the disappearance of Madeleine and the dark days that followed.

The 39-year-old cardiologist talks of how he fears he will never see his daughter again. "Probably the chances of getting Madeleine back are slim, " he says. "But still you have hope. Still."

Gerry also speaks of his guilt at leaving Madeleine alone at the Ocean Club Resort apartment in Praia da Luz on the night of May 3 last year.

"I wish I'd stayed in the apartment that night. I wish I'd stayed in the room when I checked on her five minutes longer. I wish I hadn't gone to the tapas bar." The couple's friends, known as the Tapas Nine, took turns checking on the children and Kate McCann returned to the table, screaming "they've taken her" after she discovered Madeleine missing shortly before 10pm.

In the hours after Madeleine vanished Gerry wept on the phone to his sister Philomena: "It's all my fault because Kate and I went out to dinner." But Gerry, from Rothley, Leicestershire, now maintains the couple were not irresponsible to leave their children unsupervised and the doors and windows of their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz unlocked.

"At the time we did it, it was not irresponsible. Of course we feel guilty about not having been there, and that is just something we have to deal with for the rest of our lives.

We live this 24 hours a day." In the interview with magazine Vanity Fair, the couple tell writer Judy Bachrach of their darkest moments in the days following Madeleine's disappearance.

Gerry says: "The world was all black, with maybe tiny points of light." And Kate says she told friends: "I hope whoever has Madeleine is giving her blankets, is feeding her properly, is keeping her warm." Gerry goes on: "We can't cry our eyes out every day because that's not helping. So after three days I picked myself up – quicker than Kate could." And it was building the Find Madeleine campaign that helped them go on, Gerry claims. The couple also speak of their anger and heartache after they were made suspects.

Gerry says bitterly: "Yes, yes, I know. Kate killed her in a frenzy, Madeleine was sedated by us, she fell down the stairs – in which case you would have thought they'd have found her body. I've heard all of that. There are a huge number of theories in the media. But what I want to know is, who told them all that?" Gerry says he risks jail if he talks in detail about the night Madeleine vanished, adding: "I can't talk about the details.

"I live under threat from the Portuguese – if I do talk – of two years imprisonment."

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